Medical tourism gaining appeal

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 15, 2009

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Some patients would consider traveling outside the U.S for medical care, but even more would do so if assured of quality care at a lower price, according to the results of a Gallup Poll released May 18 (link).

Surveyors asked 5,050 adults about their willingness to go beyond national borders for various health care services. About 29% were interested in exploring overseas locations for major medical problems. The number rose to 40% if the quality of care provided by foreign institutions was equal to that of U.S. facilities and the expenses reduced.

While 24% were willing to think about traveling for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, the number escalated to 37% when quality and cost issues came into play.

Another 14% would make the journey for heart bypass surgery. The number jumped to 27% if the non-U.S. facility had equal quality and lower costs.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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